Are You Strong?

Are you strong?  When I looked for a definition of what strong is here is what I found:

Physically powerful; capable of exerting great physical force.  In good or sound health; robust

Having, showing, or able to exert great bodily or muscular power; physically vigorous or robust

Accompanied or delivered by great physical, mechanical, etc., power or force

To me it’s all relative.  It can depend on the age of the person or exactly what movement or lift that they are performing.  Consider who we are comparing said person to.  Is it another athlete of a similar caliber or simply a number?  I have never put on paper my own standards of strength but coaches Mike Boyle and Bret Contreras have.  Click on the names to take a look at their charts.  These are two pretty smart guys that have worked with a broad spectrum of people.  When they speak I will in the very least listen.  See what kind of strong standards they hold.  Maybe you are stronger than you thought.  Maybe you need to do some work.  I believe I have heard one of my mentors Coach Burgener say that if you can snatch your own bodyweight then you are a “junk yard dog” (that means strong).  Consider though that the Olympic lifts are extremely technical and take years to master versus something as basic as a chin up.  However, show me someone with a “strong” clean and jerk versus a big bench press and I will take the clean and jerk.

In Bret’s article he really helps to but things in perspective but if I may, based on my experience if you are a female and can do more than 1 chin up you are reasonably strong.  Now if you are over 50 and can’t do more than 1 I don’t see that as a big deal.  On the contrary, if you are a high level female collegiate athlete and you can’t do more than 2 then you are lacking in strength in my opinion.  Mr. Boyle has many standards that can be met.  It is by no means easy to meet all of them.  However if there is a significant deficit somewhere then that should probably be a priority.  Just as a larger skill set is a good thing in most sports so to is to be all over strong or well rounded when it comes to the weight room.  A big bench press is impressive but I personally don’t care if you can’t dominate chin ups in the same manner.  This much I know is true, at Ambition Athletics we train to be strong.

-Mike Baltren

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2 Responses to Are You Strong?

  1. Pingback: Toe Pulls, Strength, Shape-Ups and Herschel Walker « Ambition Athletics

  2. Pingback: Strong Fixes Everything « Ambition Athletics

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